Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Dust Devil on Mars

A Dust Devil on Mars: APOD: 2015 March 3 - A Dust Devil on Mars





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2015 March 3




See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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A Dust Devil on Mars
Image Credit:
HiRISE,
MRO,
LPL (U. Arizona),
NASA
Explanation:
It was late in the northern martian spring
when the
HiRISE camera onboard the
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied
this local denizen.

Tracking across the flat, dust-covered
Amazonis Planitia in 2012,
the core of
this whirling dust devil is about 140 meters in diameter.

Lofting dust into the thin
martian
atmosphere
, its plume
reaches about 20 kilometers above the surface.

Common to
this region of
Mars, dust
devils occur as the surface is heated by the Sun,
generating warm, rising air currents that begin to rotate.

Tangential
wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour are reported for
dust devils in other
HiRISE images.





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Authors & editors:
Robert Nemiroff
(MTU) &
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman
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